You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to choosing an insurance company for your Part D prescription drug plan. How do you know which to choose? Are there some insurance carriers that are better than others? Does Humana have a good drug plan?
The short answer is: it depends. When it comes to choosing a Part D plan, there are more important things to consider than who the carrier is. Let’s talk about why Part D plans are different and a few of the things you’ll need to know before choosing your plan.
What is Medicare Part D?
Part D includes all of your options for prescription drug coverage under the Medicare program. Prescription medications are the only things covered under a Part D plan, making them one of the more simple Medicare parts to understand.
Prescription drug plans, also known as PDPs, are sold by private insurance companies to anyone who is eligible for Medicare. Sometimes they come as part of a Medicare Advantage plan, and other times individuals will purchase one as a stand-alone option.
What makes Part D plans different?
One of the most important things to understand about a Part D plan is the drug formulary. This drug formulary is a list of all the prescription medications that the plan covers. Each drug is assigned a tier. Prescriptions in the lower tiers cost less than those in the higher tiers. For instance, tier one drugs often include very common, generic medications that many people take – medications like those for high blood pressure or cholesterol. Medications in the highest tiers are specialty drugs and are generally name-brand.
Plans may also choose their own deductible, to a certain extent. In 2022, the maximum deductible any Part D plan can have is $480. This is the standard deductible for a majority of the plans. However, not all medications will be subject to the deductible. Most plans allow their members to receive medications from tier one without paying a deductible. Remember though, this is up to the insurance carrier and can be different with every plan.
Insurance carriers of Part D plans can choose which pharmacies to work with. They may offer better rates at one pharmacy over another. They may even offer discounts if you order medications online.
Lastly, premiums will vary based on the insurance carrier and plan.
Why do I always get calls to review my drug plan?
There is another very critical thing to understand about PDPs. These plans change every year. Changes could include a change to your premium, deductible, and changes to the entire drug formulary. A prescription that your plan covers now may not be covered next year. Or, it could be moved to a higher (or lower) tier. And, your Part D insurance carrier could choose to change their relationship with your current pharmacy. Your pharmacy could be completely removed from the plan’s network, or you could have less coverage.
This is one reason you may get a lot of emails and calls about reviewing your Part D plan during the fall. The Annual Election Period (AEP) occurs every fall from October 15 – December 7. During this time, you can choose to switch your Part D plan for the upcoming year.
Prior to AEP, your current Part D carrier will send you an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) that outlines what changes are going to be made to your current plan. You’ll need to review this document (or have an agent look at it) so that you can decide if you need to change plans.
Also, your prescriptions may change over time. Maybe you’re taking more or fewer medications than you were last year. There is a high probability that changing plans could be a benefit to you. It certainly doesn’t hurt to check!
So, is the Humana drug plan good or bad?
That will depend on what types of medications you take and which pharmacies are available in your area. Humana has several plans currently on the market: Humana Walmart Value Rx Plan, Humana Premier Rx Plan, and Humana Basic Rx Plan.
Depending on which Humana drug plan you’re looking at, it may offer $0 copays on tier one and two drugs and just a $30 copay for Select insulin.
Humana may offer a prescription drug plan that fits your needs perfectly. We can’t say that will be the case for everyone. Medicare is different for every person enrolled. The plan that works well for you may be terrible for your spouse or best friend. That’s why it is so crucial to discuss your coverage needs with a knowledgeable agent. Give our office a call today to schedule a free consultation.